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Keller wins re-election in 53rd District race; Howard may run again

Democratic challenger Rebecca Howard said she’s “disappointed but not sad” in her first run for a Statehouse seat.

Howard was defeated by incumbent Republican state Rep. Candice Keller in Tuesday’s race to represent the 53rd Ohio House District.

COMPLETE ELECTION RESULTS: Ohio and Butler County

“I’m very grateful to everyone who helped on our campaign,” she said. “As long as the district is gerrymandered the way it is, we can run the greatest campaign ever and not overcome the numbers.”

Howard said she was not sure about a future run for public office, but she’s not ruling it out.

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When asked about any thoughts about the campaign, Howard said she was “disappointed” that Keller chose not to engage in any debates or candidate forums.

“But I wish her the best of luck,” Howard said.

Keller did not return requests for comment Tuesday night. However, she made the following comment on her Facebook page:

“Thank you so much to all our supporters and friends today who voted for me and sent me back to the Ohio Statehouse! I’m deeply humbled and grateful! Time to get back to work!”

The Middletown Republican defeated Howard by a vote of 64.2 percent to 35.8 percent, according to unofficial, final results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

Keller previously told the Journal-News that she had earned a return trip to Columbus representing northern and western portions of Butler County from Oxford and Okeana to Middletown and Monroe.

“I’ve done what I promised I would do,” said Keller. “I’ve passed conservative legislation. I’m meeting with constituents almost daily, and I’m just really accessible to the people. I just enjoy being a legislator, and I have stayed in the district and worked hard for the district.”

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